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Conservative MP for Oak Ridges—Markham (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 51.10% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Rouge Valley September 19th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, after years of negotiations and after an agreement was reached, the Ontario Liberal government supported by Liberals from across the aisle turned their back on the Rouge Valley.
On the advice of radical environmentalist Jim Robb, the Liberals have endorsed a plan for the Rouge Valley that would evict farmers from class 1 farmland that has been farmed for over 400 years.
Jim Robb has called local farmers “ecologically insensitive industrial farmers”. He has called them millionaires who stand in the way of these lands being reforested. He has been a vocal opponent of our farmers and has been supported by Liberals both here and at Queen's Park every step of the way.
The House will recall that it was the Trudeau government in the 1970s that seized these lands from farmers and evicted them, while only returning some of them to one-year leases on their very same properties.
Our plan would guarantee farming remains in the Rouge Valley and our farmers would be treated with respect and provided the security they need to make investments in their land. At the same time, the entire Rouge Valley would be protected for generations to come.
We will not turn our back on the Rouge Valley. I call on the Liberals to our support farmers in that area
The Senate September 16th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, these are the New Democrats who hatched a plan to defraud Canadian taxpayers of over $1.5 million for partisan political offices in areas of the country where they actually have no members of Parliament, who dispatched the people who work for them to participate in by-elections, who used resources of the taxpayers to try to win by-elections.
I think the Leader of the Opposition has to show some leadership and the rest of his colleagues have to do the right thing and repay taxpayers the over $1.5 million that they owe them.
The Senate September 16th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, there is the small item of the Constitution. Having said that, there really is only one party in this chamber that is under investigation. That is the NDP. It is on the hook for having abused taxpayer dollars to the tune of over $1.5 million, paying for offices and partisan activities in provinces where it actually has no members of Parliament.
I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will do the right thing, that he himself will pay back and order the rest of his members to pay back to taxpayers the $1.5 million that they owe them.
Ethics September 16th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already answered that question, and the RCMP was quite clear in all of the documents that it provided.
At the same time, it does give me an opportunity, again, to mention the fact that it is the Liberal Party of Canada that wants to take away the pension splitting for seniors that has been so advantageous to our seniors. Of course, on this side of the House, we will continue to stand up for seniors and all taxpayers. That is why we put $3,200 back in their pockets, and that is why the economy is growing.
We will continue to fight for all Canadians.
Business of Supply September 16th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I just want to be advised on how much time is left in the member's allotted time.
Ethics September 15th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as members know, this government does not direct the Director of Public Prosecutions. It is an independent office, and it governs itself on its own.
Again, we are very confident. The RCMP did a great job of this, and I want to commend them for the work they did. It is in front of the courts, and we will allow that decision to be made by the courts.
Ethics September 15th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, he and a number of the members of his caucus cut cheques to support illegal offices in provinces where they actually have no members of Parliament, but again, we cannot forget that this is the exact same member who cut 29 separate cheques to a party that wants to break up Canada.
On this side of the House, we will continue to defend Canada. We will continue to do the things that have led Canada to be one of the most prosperous nations in the world. We will continue to cut taxes. We will continue to do what is right for families, because that is what Canadians' priorities are.
Ethics September 15th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I just want to congratulate the RCMP for the very thorough work that they did. As you know, Mr. Speaker, this case is before the courts right now, and we will let the courts make their decision.
At the same time, we know that the NDP is facing a similar investigation, with over $1.5 million of potentially illegal funds that it used from taxpayers to support offices in provinces where it has no members of Parliament. I hope that the NDP will do the right thing and repay taxpayers.
Speaker's Ruling September 15th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, like my colleague, I would like to welcome back all hon. members.
I want to take a moment to highlight some of the foolishness from the speaker we just heard. He talked about Canada. When we talk about Canada right now, we have to talk about a country that is leading the world in terms of job creation. We have to talk about a country that has reduced taxes to the average Canadian family by $3,200. There is $3,200 more in their pockets. We have economic growth that is leading the world.
As parliamentarians, I, like many of my colleagues, have had the opportunity to travel. As I have travelled abroad to a number of places during my time in office, I have yet to have found one parliamentarian from another legislature who would not trade places with Canada's position right now. The hon. member might want to think about that.
One of the realities is that the government obviously does not do that alone. It does that with the co-operation of the professional public service.
The member talked about the respect his party has for institutions. The Liberal government was so corrupt when it was tossed out that the first thing our government and our Prime Minister brought in when we came to office was the Federal Accountability Act. It was actually this government and this Prime Minister that brought in the Accountability Act, that brought in the Parliamentary Budget Officer, that brought in the Commissioner of Lobbying, that brought in some of the institutions to address the years of corruption and inactivity and the lack of respect for our institutions that was brought on by the Liberals.
I want to commend the member for York Centre for bringing this legislation forward. He highlighted something he feels is an important mechanism to improve accountability and transparency in the system. As he highlighted, we have if not the best then one of the best public services in the entire world. When I look back at what we were able to achieve through Canada's economic action plan and the speed by which we were able to deliver that, I know that it was done with the assistance of our extraordinary public service. We could not have done that if we did not have one of the best public services in the world. What we have seen is that Canada has led the way in coming out of the global recession and has become a model that other nations look to when they look to bring forward stimulus packages to improve their economies.
The member for York Centre has brought forward a bill after consulting broadly and with a number of people in his riding. He has brought forward a bill that seeks to improve transparency in the public service.
Canada is a great place, in part because we have a non-partisan public service. It is a fundamental principle that has helped make Canada the great nation it is. However, we also know that there are a number of talented, extraordinary people within the public service who want to serve in a different capacity. Although they are happy and have done great things within the public service, they perhaps want to move into a different realm and perhaps participate by being elected to the House of Commons, provincial legislatures, or municipal councils. They choose to serve their nation or their provinces or communities in a different way. Having seen that and understanding the need for continuing to have a non-partisan, open, and transparent public service, the member brought forward a bill that would help to protect the officials who work in the offices of agents of Parliament.
As the member for Timmins—James Bay and the member for York Centre have said, we had this legislation in front of our committee. It was a model of how a committee should work when looking at a private member's bill. It was also a testament to the member for York Centre. After consulting and hearing the depositions in front of the committee, the member himself brought forward a number of reasoned amendments to reflect the fact that the point of the bill was to protect those people within the offices of agents of Parliament, to improve transparency, and to continue to build on what Canadians have come to regard as the best public service in the world. The member brought forward these amendments so that we could review them as a committee.
We spent a lot of time debating the amendments to the bill. Obviously we did not all agree. We did not all agree on either the bill or the amendments that were brought forward. A lot of time was spent debating them, and as members can see, there is some disagreement in the House with respect to the contents of the bill.
However, by and large, it worked as Canadians would expect it to work. A private member brought forward a bill that he thought was important that would improve the public service. He thought it was important to his constituents and that it would provide protection to those people in the public service who want to serve in different capacities, either in this House or in provincial legislatures. He brought forward the bill to provide that protection.
When the member for York Centre heard from witnesses and they asked for amendments to be made to make the bill better, those amendments were brought forward and debated at committee. Ultimately, they were brought forward to the House, where we are debating them today.
I would ask the members, as they are reviewing this bill, to put it in context and for just a moment to put partisan rhetoric aside and look at what the bill seeks to accomplish.
When the Auditor General of Canada came before the committee, he laid on the table some of the areas he was very concerned about. He talked about investigations and reporting back to Parliament and the fact that he was uncomfortable with that. By and large, we heard that from some of the other agents of Parliament, too.
As the committee worked through it, and as it sought to investigate how this would work, it decided that it was probably not something that would be an effective tool for transparency in the public service. It was not being looked upon in the spirit in which it was brought forward, so the hon. member decided to withdraw that provision from the bill.
Just to sum up, this is a very good bill. It is aimed at protecting our public servants. It is aimed at giving them an opportunity to serve in different capacities. It would actually build on the legislation and the rules that are already in place in the broader public sector to ensure that we continue to have a non-partisan, effective public service.
I commend the member for York Centre not only for bringing forward this bill but for doing all the work that needed to be done to modify and amend the bill and to gain the support of individuals who had at one point come before the committee with a different opinion. I suspect now that when people look at this, they will be confident that what they see is the right approach and they will be confident that this bill will do what it is supposed to do, which is protect our public service while guaranteeing a non-partisan public service for many years to come.
Unlike my friends in the opposition, let me close by saying how proud of I am of this country. I have had the opportunity to serve since 2008. When it comes to where Canada has been and where it is going, I cannot tell members how excited I am about where Canada is going. When I look at our job creation and the economic opportunities Canadians have that they did not have before, and when I look at the leadership the Prime Minister is showing on the international stage, I know that Canada is safe. I know that Canada is secure. I know that the opportunities in the job market for our youth are expanding.
I, unlike the opposition, am very confident about where Canada is going and what we have done. I look forward to many more years of helping this great country become even better. Unlike the opposition, I do not look down on this country. I always look forward, and I hope that the opposition will finally join with us in helping to build a bigger, better, stronger, and safer Canada.
International Trade June 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the extraordinary member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale is such a hard-working member.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is at the Pacific Alliance meetings in Mexico where he will be announcing a new $25 million Canadian trade and development facility.
This facility is to unleash the potential of the private sector in the Americas, while at the same time helping them understand better the opportunities that exist in Canada. That is good for jobs and good for economic growth here in Canada.
We know that the NDP are opposed to every single trade deal. The Liberals can never decide which ones they want to oppose; they can never close them. We will continue to open new markets for Canadian small, medium and large business producers and job creators, because it is good for the economy and it is good for Canada.